When troubleshooting machines, I was trained to routinely reseat every board and every chip in the case. Especially if there was nothing visibly wrong with the machine, it was amazing how often that worked. So why does reseating RAM work? Why does reseating anything else work?
Reseating works because it improves conductivity. Connectors can get dirty or oxidized, and if that interferes with conductivity, it causes malfunctions.
Dell Optiplex minitowers aren’t really designed with adding case fans in mind. But with a little creativity, you can install one inexpensively, and without making it too terribly much louder either. Here’s how.
With a power adapter, an 80mm fan, and some zip ties, it’s possible to add a case fan to a Dell Optiplex. The opening in the side panel is in just the right place for even a small fan to make a difference.
After running Foldingathome for a few weeks and watching my friends pull away and leave my machines in their dust, I decided to throw a little money at it and see if I could build a budget folding rig that wouldn’t embarrass me. While you can spend thousands of dollars on one, you don’t have to. Let’s see what we can do for a more modest amount. Like $200.
You can build a folding rig that can pull in 300,000-400,000 points per day for around $250. The trick is finding a decent minitower with a PCIe slot and a used graphics card.
Some enthusiasts will undervolt their GPU to save heat, reduce power consumption, and make their system run quieter. But does undervolting damage your GPU?
Undervolting can lead to stability issues, but when you get it right, it can actually be good for your GPU. Running cooler generally leads to longer life expectancy for the GPU chip and the graphics card as a whole.
Western Digital found itself in a dustup recently because it shipped shingled media recording (SMR) hard drives as RAID and NAS drives. What is shingled media recording? And why should you avoid it in RAID? And should you avoid it in general use too?
Shingled media recording takes advantage of a quirk in the way drives write versus read that allows tracks to overlap, like shingles on a house. This increases storage and decreases cost, but decreases performance. Non-sequential writes, also known as random writes, suffer in performance greatly.
Is your Folding at home GPU not running? If your GPU won’t fold, there may be several reasons for it. Here’s how to troubleshoot your GPU, and how to know when you just need to be patient and wait for the work. Read more
My oldest son wants to build up a computer on a budget. I think he wants something a little better than the laptop I got him a couple of years ago, but I think he’s also curious about what goes into building or upgrading a PC. Right now, it’s easy to find brand-name i5-3570 PCs for very little. With a video card and an SSD, they become very respectable machines. But what’s the best video card for an i5-3470?
The onboard video in an i5-3470 is roughly equivalent to a Geforce 210, which is about the cheapest discrete video card on the market today. You won’t see any noticeable improvement unless you put in something at least equivalent to a GT 710 or R7 240.
I picked up a Dell Optiplex 3010 for cheap cheap over the weekend. It was a nice computer for 2013, especially in the right configuration. But it definitely has upgrade potential to get more life out of it.
The Optiplex 3010 is still fast enough to be serviceable, and can take an SSD, a video card upgrade, and up to 16 GB of RAM. This configuration will run Windows 10 well and even works surprisingly well for midrange gaming.
Years ago, I was having lunch with a friend. “You probably don’t save much money by building a PC. I know when I build a mountain bike, I end up spending more.” His logic makes sense. But it’s worth exploring. Is it cheaper to build a PC? Read more
What is a multi core processor? Why are they necessary? Multi core processors saved Intel’s bacon in 2005 when the Pentium 4 CPU failed to meet expectations, and they led to noticeable changes in the way computers are designed and marketed.
A multi core processor is a processor with multiple processor cores on a single chip. This gives improved performance, though performance doesn’t scale linearly.